Saturday, December 26, 2015

In the Desert

So, I have been absent for a while.

Not just from blogging, but from life. Over the past couple of months, life has taken some turns that we were not expecting and I have to admit that I have not dealt with it well. I have been in survival mode-functioning on the bare minimum for many weeks.

I won't bore you with the really is not important.  The bottom line is, something (or things) have been keeping me separated from my Heavenly Father.

That's the truth of the matter. I have let the changes and trials of life drive me away from the One who loves me and cares for me the most.

In studying how Jesus dealt with trials and tribulation, specifically His temptation in the desert, I have realized that my response to my current troubles has been less than godly.

When Satan tempted Jesus with food...

"But it is written, 'Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God'." -Matthew 4:4

What is your bread?  What is tempting you away from the word of God?

Mine is distraction-television, music, work-anything to occupy my time and keep my mind off of my current situation. Rather than running to the words of my Comforter, my Heavenly Father, I choose to distract myself with the things of this world.

When Satan tempted Jesus to prove God's power...

"Jesus said to him, 'Again it is written, "You shall not put the Lord God to the test".'" 
-Matthew 4:7

Do you ask God to prove himself to you?  Do you pray out of obedience?

We ask God to prove himself when we ask for a specific answer to prayer. Praying in obedience simply asks God to acknowledge our request and accepts His answer-regardless of whether or not it matches our desires.

When Satan tempted Jesus with the riches of the world... 

"Then Jesus said to him, 'Be gone, Satan. For it is written, "You shall worship the Lord your God and him only shall you serve.'" -Matthew 4:10

What gods do you worship?  What comes between you and worshiping the Lord your God?

Television, sports, sleeping late....all of these things, on their own, are not inherently sinful.  However, when these things come before worship and separate you from God, they become sinful.  When we put the things of this world before worshiping its Creator, we have misplaced our priorities.

There is hope in Matthew 4:11.  Jesus orders Satan to "be gone" and he goes. Angels come and minister to Jesus. There is an end to the trials and temptations in the desert. There is hope for the future. 

I believe this story is in the Bible for two reasons.  I think it occurred for the sake of showing Satan, once again, that he has no real power. At the time this event took place, there was no audience but Satan. God wanted to show him that Jesus was fully God and fully man.  But in the telling of the story in scripture, God gives a guideline for resisting the temptations of this life. He shows us the proper eternal perspective. He also gives us a Savior who, while fully God, is also fully man and able to understand our trials and tribulations.

God is enough. God is always good.